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Brother Marquis of 2 Live Crew, performed on some of the rap group’s most famous records, passed away at the age of 58.

June 4, 2024

  • Brother Marquis (Mark D. Ross) joined 2 Live Crew shortly after its founding
  • The group was known for the over-the-top sexual lyrics of its early albums
  • In 1990, As Nasty As They Wanna Be (1989) was declared obscene

Brother Marquis, one of the major members of the rap group 2 Live Crew, has died at age 58.

The group’s social media accounts revealed that Brother Marquis — born Mark D. Ross — died on Monday.

Sources with direct knowledge told TMZ his death appeared to be due to natural causes.

Brother Marquis’ death follows the 2017 death of one of 2 Live Crew’s co-founder, Fresh Kid Ice.

The rapper was featured on many of the group’s most iconic and controversial albums, including the hit 1989 LP As Nasty As They Wanna Be, which was briefly declared obscene, leading to the rappers’ arrests in 1990.

In 2 Liv Crew’s announcement of Brother Marquis’ death, it noted that he ‘went to the upper room.’

The band’s manager subsequently confirmed his death to TMZ without providing any additional details.

So far, no foul play is suspected, but the manner of his death has not yet been revealed.

Ross, who was born in Rochester, New York, and moved to Los Angeles with his family as a teen, came to the attention of 2 Live Crew DJ Mr. Mixx on the strength of his work with his early group The Cautious Crew and his stellar battle rap performances.

Although he missed out on being a founding member of 2 Live Crew, Ross was with the group — as Brother Marquis — on its influential debut album The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are, which was released in 1986.

By 1987, the album peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and reached 128 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and it was awarded a gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The album was a key document of the Miami bass style of hip hop, which had a focus on classic drum machine rhythms with copious bass, fast dance-friendly tempos and a focus on particularly sexual lyrics and themes.

Those risqué lyrics from some rappers and groups associated with Miami bass played a part in preventing it from becoming a major force nationwide, as they weren’t allowed on the radio.

Ross and the rest of 2 Live Crew had another hit on their hands with their sophomore album, 1988’s Move Somethin’, which was noted for its innovative sample sources.

It made it to number 20 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and significantly moved up on the Billboard 200 albums chart to number 68.

Like its predecessor, Move Somethin’ earned a gold certification from the RIAA.

But it follow-up album, 1989’s As Nasty As They Wanna Be, would prove to be 2 Live Crew’s best-known album and one of the group’s greatest commercial successes.

The album topped out at 29 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, but the LP’s longevity led it to be certified double platinum by the RIAA, meaning that it sold at least 2 million units.

It included the hit single Me So Horny, which featured samples of the title line uttered by a Vietnamese prostitute trying to entice American soldiers in Stanley Kubrick’s classic Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket, as well as part of Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, which is featured in the same scene.

The song topped the Hot Rap Tracks Chart and reach number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and it stayed on the chart for a stunning 30 weeks.

But that song and others featured sexually explicit lyrics, leading the album to receive a (voluntary) Parental Advisory label. But that wasn’t enough for some, and in 1990, a judge in Lee Country, Florida, ruled there was ‘probable cause to believe’ As Nasty As They Wanna Be was obscene, leading to similar rulings from judges in Alabama, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, according to the Washington Post.

That year, a record store owner in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was arrested for selling the album to an undercover police officer, and after a performance of portions of the album, Fresh Kid Ice and Luke Skyywalker were arrested.

The two members were later acquitted, and the obscenity ruling was overturned on appeal. Ross would later indicate that he was a born-again Christian, though he would still perform his raunchy 2 Live Crew lyrics from the 1980s and ’90s.

Brother Marquis would continue on with the grop for two more controversial albums, the gold-certified Banned In The U.S.A. (1990) and Sports Weekend: As Nasty As They Wanna Be, Pt. 2 (1991).

In the early 1990s, he worked as part of the Duo 2 Nazty, and he collaborated with Ice-T, including on the original version of 99 Problems, which was later remade by Jay-Z in its best-known form.

Ross reunited with 2 Live Crew in 1996 for the album Shake A Lil’ Something, followed by 1998’s The Real One, but both failed to perform as well commercially as the group’s early hits.

The rappers didn’t return again until Ross worked out his differences with Fresh Kid Ice in 2006, but aside from some isolated singles, they never released another LP.

The duo version of 2 Live Crew announced plans for an album title Just Wanna Be Heard in 2010, but it failed to materialize.

Fresh Kid Ice left the group in 2016 — before dying the following year — and Brother Marquis reunited with 2 Live Crew’s original DJ Mr. Mix in 2016 for the album One Horse Sleigh, which was credited to 2 Live Crew.

Curled from Mail Online

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